HONOLULU – All those rookies ready to start their PGA Tour careers will have to wait another day.
The opening round of the Sony Open, the first full-field event of the season, was washed out Thursday because of heavy overnight rain that left too much water on Waialae Country Club. Once the sun came up and officials could see, it was a quick decision. Some fairways and bunkers were filled with large puddles.
“The golf course is under water,” PGA Tour tournament director Mark Russell said. “We’ve got some more rain coming, and we just didn’t think that we could get it in tournament condition today.”
The plan is to play the opening two rounds on Friday and Saturday, with 36 holes on Sunday. The cut will be the nearest number to 60 players, although everyone in the top 70 will get credit for making the cut and will get paid.
Rain is not unusual, although Russell could not remember an entire day being washed out in three decades working this tournament.
The pro-am was canceled Wednesday because of rain and wet conditions, and with the course at its limit because of rain over the holidays, nearly 4 inches fell overnight.
The locker room was lined with golf bags that had rain covers on, along with extra towels to prepare for the conditions. Players were looking for something to do, because even the practice range was closed.
Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela, one of 26 rookies in the field who was to tee off Thursday morning, was asking about golf courses on the other side of Oahu until learning it rains even harder there.
Finishing on Sunday takes on even more importance. The PGA Tour next goes to the California desert for the Bob Hope Classic, a 90-hole tournament that starts Wednesday across four golf courses. If there is a Monday finish, players in the Hope would not be able to arrive until Tuesday afternoon and would not be able to see any of the courses ahead of time.